Stalking the wily Lahontan cutthroat trout
November 22, 2018
With the opening of trout season recently at Pyramid Lake, several intrepid fly fishermen from the High Sierra Fly Casters headed north to try our luck casting gaudy streamers to the Lahontan cutthroat trout population in that lake.
Pyramid Lake has a good reputation for large trout, but the prey this time was particularly daunting: Lahontan cutthroat trout are making a mighty comeback after extensive efforts by NDOW and fish biologists who are selectively breeding and restocking that fishery for the past five years. They expect the cutthroat to be the predominant predator before long because of its aggressive nature. And their efforts are showing results: fishermen are reporting larger cutthroat every year, and this year expectations are high for some gigantic fish to come out of those waters.
Being not only a fly fishing club, but an eating and social club as well, we arranged in advance to meet with friends from the Ruby Mountain Fly Fishers, with whom we had pursued trout on South Fork Reservoir near Elko just six months ago, and who have shown themselves to be grand chefs.
HSFC members landed several nice trout on this outing, but alas, none will end up in the record book. They reported that conditions were ideal, though: very light winds from the north and east, pushing the fish close to the western shore. Our band of fishers did not even need boats or ladders, as conditions were ideal for presenting a weighted streamer off an 8-weight fly rod while wading from shore.
Several members took advantage of the favorable conditions to practice their spey cast, a technique that started in Scotland but is very well suited to fishing from the shores of Pyramid Lake.
Interested fishers are reminded that fishing Pyramid requires a permit from the Pyramid Lake Native American tribe that has jurisdiction over those waters. Online permits are available at https://plpt.nagfa.net/online. For information on the High Sierra Fly Casters visit http://www.hsfc.us/.